A US judge has rejected English singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran’s request to dismiss a lawsuit accusing him of lifting from Marvin Gaye’s 1973 classic Let’s Get It On for his 2014 hit Thinking Out Loud.
US District Judge Louis Stanton in Manhattan said a jury should decide whether Sheeran, Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Atlantic Records should be liable to the estate and heirs of the late producer Ed Townsend, who co-wrote Let’s Get It On with Gaye.
Stanton found “substantial similarities between several of the two works’ musical elements,” including their bass lines and percussion, and said it was in dispute whether the harmonic rhythm of Let’s Get It On was too common to deserve copyright protection.
Jurors “may be impressed by footage of a Sheeran performance which shows him seamlessly transitioning between [the songs],” Stanton also wrote.
Sheeran has denied copying from Gaye.
Image: IAN GAVAN / GETTY